ABC's resident political fixer now finds herself attracted to Captain Jake Ballard (Scott Foley), whom Olivia (Kerry Washington) randomly met at a coffee shop. What she doesn't know is that Jake was actually contracted by the President (Tony Goldwyn) to spy on Olivia by any means necessary. Those means include planting video cameras all over her apartment. But it's not creepy at all, insists Foley, who truly believes Jake has real feelings for Olivia. But will she return those feelings if she ever learns the truth? TVGuide.com caught up with Foley to get the scoop on what's in store for Thursday's episode (10/9c) and beyond:
Does Jake have real feelings for Olivia?
Scott Foley: That's a great question. I think yes. He obviously took himself out of the voyeuristic aspect of his life and made it into an in-real thing, so by the very nature of that I can say Jake has very real feelings for Olivia.
Does he honestly think he can really have a relationship with her considering the foundation of their meeting was a lie?
Foley: Yeah, I agree with that, but I think he does. Relationships flourish through all sorts of beginnings and rough times. Usually it's best when you're not spying on the person, but I think he believes that they can overcome that should that come out. Although, it doesn't necessarily need to come out.
It's a Shonda Rhimes drama! It's going to come out!
Foley: Of course it is! Of course.
Are we going to see Jake grappling with whether or not to be honest with Olivia?
Foley: Yeah. By the nature of what Jake does for a living — and we're not exactly sure what that is, but we know it's military intelligence — I think he's pretty comfortable with keeping secrets. Although, when you mix personal feelings and secrets, there's always the want to be completely honest with the person you have those feelings for. He definitely wrestles with them. He feels a sense of not just responsibility to the President to keep an eye on her for whatever reason, but the need to be honest with her. That's a big drive for him.
We've seen their first date. What's their next step in this relationship?
Foley: The next step is overcoming the hurdle that is Olivia Pope and her perspective on relationships and where she's been in the past. To get them to the next step, she has to be willing to say, "OK, let's try it out!"
How will they be working together in Thursday's episode?
Foley: Speaking of trust, there's a great thing that happens in this episode where Jake has to trust Olivia. There's a hostage story in Thursday's episode and she gives him information, refusing to give him the source and he has to take her word that this information is going to be correct, especially if he's going to take it to the President to help free these hostages. He was has to take a leap of faith with her. In doing that, it brings their relationship to another level.
We've seen in the promo that a photographer takes a picture of Olivia and Jake together. That would obviously compromise Jake's standing with the President if that got out. What lengths will he go to fix this situation?
Foley: Jake needs to be very careful. He's doing something here by using Olivia not just as a source, but as a potential love interest that is way outside his purview. It's something that the President would definitely not approve of. I think it's going to be interesting to find out what lengths Jake will go to to make sure that any photo or any evidence of his relationship with Liv is not in the public.
Do you think he feels bad lying to the President?
Foley: I don't think he feels bad deceiving the President. I think he knows that the President has, like Jake does, ulterior motives when it comes to Olivia.
It seems only inevitable that Olivia will find out the truth about Jake's true motives. How will Jake handle that?
Foley: It does seem inevitable. If and when it does happen, it's hard for it to go down in any way that it could be positive for their relationship. Now, that being said, if I were to speak about an imaginary relationship that began with stalking and cameras in someone's apartment and that person found out, I would put a lot of money on the fact that it's not going to end well. Wouldn't you? [Laughs] Imagine dating a guy and you really like him and he's cute and sweet and has a good job — in this economy, he's got a great job! — then you find out that he's had cameras in every room of your house watching you for who knows how long. Could you continue a relationship with that person?
But the President told him to do it!
Foley: I couldn't agree more! That's the excuse right? That's how he'll get off the hook, right? "Hey, it's my job! I'm following orders. I'm a military man. The highest commander in the military has ordered me to do this. It's my job to do so." I would play that excuse out for as long as I f---ing could. [Laughs]
You're used to playing good guys, so what has it been like playing this morally ambiguous guy? And do you think he's actually a good guy?
Foley: It's been a challenge. I'm used to a different type of character. It's been an interesting challenge that I've enjoyed. Everyone thinks he's a bad guy and morally questionable, I don't know if I agree with that. We're going to find out that he's in a position that's hard to get out of and maybe he wishes that he could get out of it. There's so many more layers and ways to play a character and options you have when you're going into a scene. It's been so interesting. The Twitter universe has erupted on both sides of the fence, vitriol and praise. I love that.
Will we ever get to see more of his background, maybe even going back to when the President first enlisted him to spy on Olivia?
Foley: I don't know if we're going to get to see that far back, but we're going to find out a little bit more about who he is, where he's from and why he's doing what he's doing; not necessarily in regards to the President and their relationship, but his place in the world and why he's there. That's going to answer a lot of questions for people.
Are you rooting for Jake and Olivia?
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.